Since its founding as a small Bible college in 1902, PLNU has experienced significant growth and change — from names to mascots to entire campus locations. What remains consistent, though, is the way in which the brand reflects PLNU's timeless commitment to providing a Christ-centered, service-minded education and community.
Brand Promise: Fully Becoming Who You Are Called To Be
By choosing to study at PLNU, students can expect to be confidently prepared to live out their purpose and life’s work in a meaningful way. We believe your calling is authentic to who you are and places value in the spiritual gifting God has granted. That's why our purpose is to cultivate that calling and those gifts into lifelong vocation through whole-student investment and development that leads to transformational growth — personally, professionally, and spiritually. During your time at PLNU and beyond, you can expect to be seen by others as uniquely prepared to make a difference in the world in ways both great and small — wherever the place is you happen to be “standing in life” at any given moment in time.
Generous, Rooted Authenticity
- Wesleyan tradition of genuine humility lived out in who we are.
- Personifies the authentic warmth and open-hearted nature of PLNU and its people.
- Focus on others (rather than on self) leads to a readiness to give to others more than is necessary or even expected.
- Strong internal moral compass means integrity in all actions and decisions.
Inspirational Mentoring & Service in an Engaged Community
- Practice of Christ-like “servant-leadership” — quietly influencing, guiding, and inspiring others to do and be more (vs. telling and dominating).
- Deep, honest, and engaged human relationships bring tangible sense of joy and togetherness into our community.
- Genuine modeling of personal, one-to-one learning and mentoring among and between students, faculty, and staff that inspires.
- Focus on external service to others and the practice of social justice as a core missional responsibility (“send”).
- The community itself is a quantifiable attribute — our “others-focused” mindset becomes an ingrained way of behaving that translates to a lifetime of faithful works and service to others.
Discovering & Cultivating Your Full Potential
Highly differentiating ability to see and uncover the gifts and strengths that individuals carry, and a willingness to cultivate them together for individual student benefit.
Gives students inner and outer confidence in themselves (focus on both internal and external development of the whole person).
Life at the intersection of true passion and intentional learning leads to a life lived to its fullest potential and meaning.
Tangible outcome of the personal investment faculty and staff make in each student.
Critically Exploring Life's Profound Questions & Gaining Expert Knowledge
Intentional learning environment that challenges the way students creatively think, explore questions, pursue truth, acquire and master information, and apply learning to real life.
High standard of academic excellence rooted in dialogical exploration and critical thinking (not hard for hard’s sake or pure intellectual competition).
Recognizes the vital importance of acquisition and mastery of knowledge — the critical facts, information, and skills required to become an expert in a field.
Implies a unique Christian university attribute of intellectual openness — encouragement to explore deep ideas, hard questions of life and knowledge, and the pursuit of truth.
On July 2, 1902, Dr. Phineas F. Bresee established a Christian college in the Los Angeles area. This singular event was Bresee’s response to a call from God, and it would become the answer to the many prayers offered up by a group of six women who affectionately referred to themselves as the Bible College Prayer Circle.
The women established the group in 1897 and prayed ceaselessly that God would build up a Bible college to help serve others and spread the Gospel. Five years later, their unwavering faith bore abundant fruit: Bresee founded and became the first president of Pacific Bible College, which would eventually become Point Loma Nazarene University. Bresee believed that one way to answer God’s call of loving and serving others was to create a liberal arts college that fostered both spiritual and academic learning.
The college continued to grow as a thriving liberal arts school, receiving accreditation from the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools in 1943 and from the Western College Association in 1949. Then in 1973, because the small 14-acre campus could no longer serve all of its students well, university president W. Shelburne Brown moved the college to San Diego, where it currently resides along the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.
The history of Point Loma Nazarene University, from its formation as a small Bible college to its development into a prominent Christian liberal arts university, has been one filled with countless blessings and answered prayers. In 1910, Bresee faced the seemingly imminent collapse of the college. His unceasing prayer led him to Isaiah 62. For Bresee, this verse from Scripture came to represent a promise of protection from God.
In 1946, Pasadena College fell on hard times financially. So much so, it didn’t have enough food in its cafeteria to feed its students. As a response to widespread prayer by the Pasadena College community, pastors and laypeople came together and trucked six tons of food from Northern California to Pasadena. A caravan made up of cars, bands, and a police escort arrived at the college, parading up Bresee Avenue with answered prayers in the form of food and drink.
Moments like these, and many others, serve as a testament to how this place has been called forth and protected by God for more than 100 years to serve others as a Christian institution of higher learning.
Brand Style Guide
Learn how and when to properly use PLNU's logos, fonts, colors, and other design elements to maintain visual brand consistency.
PLNU Brand Promise
Learn more about the history, people, and pillars behind the university brand in the PLNU Brand Promise booklet.